Webb, Plessinger, Musquin and Vohland discuss A1
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team has begun its 2023 AMA Supercross Championship campaign strongly, as multi-time champion Cooper Webb led the charge with an impressive come-from-behind runner-up result aboard the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. Teammates Aaron Plessinger and Marvin Musquin finished the Anaheim season-opener in eighth and 12th respectively, while Max Vohland piloted his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to a career-best fifth in the 250SX West Main Event.
The 2019 and 2021 title-winner Webb set a solid foundation for the night show by starting his Heat race inside the top four. After losing a position on the second lap, Webb quickly struck back to retake the spot, then shadowed Musquin. From there, 27-year-old Webb made his move a lap later and went on to finish his heat race in third.
When the gate dropped on the 450SX Main Event, Webb found himself in 10th on the opening lap, but made a number of quick passes to work his way into sixth before the halfway mark. As the track deteriorated, Webb came into his own, dropping his lap-times and making more crucial passes to work his way onto the podium, before executing a final-lap pass to claim a hard-fought, satisfying P2 result at the opening race of the new SuperMotocross World Championship.
Cooper Webb: “I’m stoked to start this season so well! Honestly, I was really hoping to get a top five, maybe a top three tonight. I didn’t get a great start and I actually stalled the bike, and that put me back in the mid-pack. It’s tough because at the first round everyone’s feisty and excited, so it’s about being smart getting around guys, and moving forward without wasting too much time. The track was very rough, but I found some good lines and I was able to get start clicking off laps and making passes. A lot of riders made mistakes tonight and it worked out well for me.”
Plessinger’s night got off to a promising start with a strong performance in his Heat race. After a top-eight start aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, Plessinger was one of the big movers throughout the seven-lap Heat. He constantly moved forward through the pack, regularly making passes as he surged to a hard-fought fourth place finish, making his final pass on the last lap.
It was an eventful Main Event for the #7, as he rounded the first turn inside the top 10, then found himself caught in the thick of the action. Capitalizing on other riders’ errors and making clever moves for position, Plessinger made his way into seventh, but went down late in the race and dropped to 11th. A string of late passes and opportunities saw him rebound to finish the race in eighth place.
Aaron Plessinger: “For the first round of the season and my first race back since February, my day went pretty well. I qualified in 10th, and while I didn’t get a good start in my Heat race, I made it work and came back to fourth. In the Main Event I was in a good position, but had a little spill. If I hadn’t done that, I feel like I would have ended up in the top five or just outside of it, so we’ll clean some stuff up this week and be back ready for Oakland.”
Longstanding Red Bull KTM racer Musquin began his 2023 campaign strongly with a third-fastest qualifying time aboard the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION and brought that same intensity into his Heat race. He jumped well off the gate and into second position, but lost a handful of positions throughout the race – including to his teammate Webb – before crossing the finish-line in P5.
A mid-pack start to the 450SX Main Event saw the Frenchmen struggle to make headway early on, but he found some opportunities as the race unfolded, working his way into eighth. A small crash undid all his efforts as he remounted in 11th position and, despite keeping his focus forward, he lost another position late to finish the season-opener in 12th.
Marvin Musquin: “I’m very disappointed with my end result and I know I can do a lot better. Track conditions were very tough and I wasn’t able to put it all together tonight. I had a bad start and got pinched badly in the first turn, and from that point on I struggled to find a rhythm. I could’ve got a good result as a lot of riders crashed, but I wasn’t able to make it happen. I got into a better rhythm in the middle part of the race, but then I dropped it. It was a really tough night and this isn’t what I want, so we’ll keep working and do better next weekend.”
It was a memorable night for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Max Vohland in round one of 250SX West. The rising star launched well off the starting gate in the first Heat race of the 2023 season, rounding the first turn in third. Early pressure from behind saw Vohland respond well and push his way into second, but he lost the position several corners later. From that point he concentrated on clicking off consistent laps to finish with a well-deserved P3 result.
Another great start in the 250SX Main Event saw Vohland rocket into third, a position he held for two laps before dropping to fourth. He then settled into a good rhythm and kept his focus forward for most of the race before a small mistake on the 12th lap saw him give up another place. Still, Vohland continued to put down consistent laps to cross the finish-line with a career-best fifth-place result and start his 2023 campaign on a high note.
Max Vohland: “A1 was a good start to the championship for me. I started off the day with two good qualifying sessions, then I had a strong in my Heat, racing to a third-place finish. In the Main Event I got off to a good start and battled most of the race in fourth, and ended up fifth for the night. I’m really happy as my goal was a top-five result and I was able to achieve that. I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into Oakland next weekend.”
Image: Align Media